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A compendium of links to information on how to buy and cook meat safely, details on corn-fed vs. grass-fed beef, government sites dealing with food safety, and organizations that advocate a meat-free diet.


Food Safety

FoodSafety.gov

Billed as the "gateway to government food-safety information," FoodSafety.gov compiles links to the latest news and food safety alerts and publishes information about the most commonly found food-borne pathogens. Its consumer advice section has an extensive list of links to food-safety resources on the Web.


Home Food Safety

This site is a joint effort from the American Dietetic Association and ConAgra Foods. The site's FAQ section has answers to common questions such as "What's the most common mistake when it comes to food safety?" and "What are the high-risk foods that I should avoid?"


Food Safety and Inspection Service: Publications for Consumers

This FSIS site is updated regularly and includes links to the service's consumer publications. Sample categories include Food Safety During Pregnancy and Holiday Food Safety.


Iowa State University Food Safety Project

This site is another good primer on basic food-safety issues. Its 10 steps to a safe kitchen has practical information about defrosting meats and what temperature to keep your refrigerator.


Safe Tables Our Priority (STOP)

Nancy Donley founded STOP after her 6-year-old son died from eating meat that was contaminated with the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria in 1993. Along with basic food-safety information, the site's personal stories and testimonials section posts firsthand accounts from the victims and relatives of victims of food-borne illnesses.


Center for Science in the Public Interest

CSPI is a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group that promotes food-safety awareness. In addition to its Safe-Kitchen Tips, the Safe Food Quiz is a great way for visitors to familiarize themselves with food-safety issues.


Beef.org: Food Safety

This website is published by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the Beef Board. The site has a guide to preparing meat safely, along with issue papers on HACCP and growth hormones in cattle.


Federal Consumer Information Center: Food

The FCIC site provides several backgrounders on food safety, including a quiz titled "Can Your Kitchen Pass the Food Safety Test?"


Organic and Grass-fed Beef

Eat Wild

Eat Wild bills itself as "the clearinghouse for information about pasture-based farming." Through its suppliers list, visitors can find the producers in their state that sell grass-fed beef products.


Google: Natural and Organic Beef

Google, the Internet search engine, has compiled links to some of the most popular organic meat brands on the Web.


FSIS: Certified Organic Labeling

This page on the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service site has basic background information about the Organic Foods Production Act and organic foods labeling.


Other Consumer Information

How to Buy Meat

From the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, this primer explains the different grades of meat and the nutritive values of beef, and provides other consumer tips.


BeefTips.com

This site, sponsored by the Wisconsin Beef Council, includes a great deal of consumer information about both beef and veal. In the "E-mail an Expert" section, visitors can either ask a question about beef or read responses to previously submitted queries.


CNN: Nutrition Comparison of Beef

This page from CNN Food Central lists cuts of beef and their nutritional values. There is also a page for comparing the different types of ground meats that lists the nutritional differences between extra lean ground beef versus lean and regular beef.


Other Government Sites

United States Department of Agriculture

The USDA administers the Food Safety and Inspection Service, the federal meat and poultry inspection service. The FSIS site has up-to-date information about meat recalls and advises consumers about what steps to take if they have a problem.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC site has in-depth backgrounders on known food-borne pathogens. CDC also oversees PulseNet, a national network of laboratories that "fingerprint" food-borne pathogens and track outbreaks of food-borne illnesses.


Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

CFSAN is the FDA's food-safety service. (The USDA is responsible for meat safety and inspection; the FDA is responsible for all other foods.) The "Bad Bug Book" provides basic information on pathogenic bacteria and parasites and viruses commonly found in food products.


National Organic Program

Congress passed the Organic Food Production Act in 1990 to establish national standards governing the marketing of organically produced agricultural products. This site compiles information about how the law affects producers and certifiers of organic products.


Sites That Advocate Meat-free Diets

Tax Meat

This site, operated by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, lays out the arguments -- health, ecological, and economic -- for avoiding a meat-based diet.


The Scientific Basis of Vegetarianism

This is the website for William Harris, M.D., the author of The Scientific Basis of Vegetarianism. In "Cancer and the Vegetarian Diet," Harris argues that nations whose inhabitants have diets that are rich in animal products have a higher incidence of certain types of cancer. "It appears that the less animal source food per capita, the lower the cancer rate," writes Harris.

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